The Wampire Diaries
I adore my friend Laurice for a million different reasons. She’s smart, cool, funny, kind, a wonderful mom, and an unbelievable cook. She’s also incredibly creative and generous — and I’m always grateful when I’m on the receiving end of her creativity and generosity.
Such was the case a few months ago, when she surprised me with a handmade gift. I put Mr. Wampire on my desk at work and marveled at his ability to always bring a smile, no matter how crappy my workday.
I’m not exactly sure how or why, but at some point Laurice and I decided that he should go with me to Paris — sort of like the traveling gnome in Amélie. Mr. Wampire was the very last thing I packed.
He was also among the very first things I photographed when I arrived. I captioned this one “Notre Dame has a new rose window.”
I had fun making him “pose” at a handful of familiar landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre museum.
But it didn’t take me long to start dreaming up goofy Wampire scenarios. The first of these came during dinner with my friends Chris and Silke, when I asked the waiter to put Mr. Wampire on his tray. To my surprise, the waiter didn’t bat an eye. (Pardon the pun.)
I also approached a couple of cops who were on patrol along the Seine. They looked nervous as I reached into my bag, but they laughed out loud when I pulled out Mr. Wampire and asked them to stage an “arrest.”
I also posed Mr. Wampire with a boulanger (note the tiny apron) …
… a bouquiniste …
… a market vendor’s blood oranges …
… in front of a métro map …
… among Paris’ ubiquitous pigeons …
… “performing” with a host of musician friends and buskers …
… horseback-riding at the Parc Bercy …
… and relaxing with a glass of O Positive at my favorite sidewalk café.
Mr. Wampire also provided a bit of social commentary about doing laundry in Paris — and about Parisians’ fascination with monsters and the macabre.
One day, he accompanied me and my friend Henry to the beautiful Schwartzwald (Black Forest) outside Freiburg, Germany. Hats off to Henry for his dedication to wampire photography!
He also spent a day with me in Strasbourg.
But as much as I enjoyed staging these goofy scenarios, what I liked best about traveling with Mr. Wampire was the opportunity he provided to interact. I never would have spoken with the cops, for instance, if not for Mr. Wampire.
Nor would I have met James while climbing the towers of Notre Dame. We had the ultimate “small world” experience when we discovered that his dad is a former colleague of mine at the Star Tribune.
Alas … our journey together is over: Today Mr. Wampire and I returned to the office — and to our respective routines.
But I look forward to traveling with him again soon.
In the meantime, there are many, many more photos and stories to come. Thanks for tagging along.
Filed under: Attempted humor, Friends and family, Paris, Photography, Psychology, Travel | 18 Comments
Tags: Eiffel Tower, Freiburg, fun travel ideas, Notre Dame, Paris, Paris photography, Psychology, Travel, Wampire